November 30, 2012

Archbishop Tobin reflects on the importance of a sense of humor to the spiritual life

In Conversation with Archbishop Tobin logo“A sense of humor is not simply an adornment. My novice master was a fabulous man. He used to say to us that a sense of humor was an essential element of the spiritual life. The other day, we celebrated [St.]Teresa of Avila on Oct. 15. My favorite story of hers is her riding a horse between two monasteries in 16th-century Spain. The horse bucks, she goes up in the air, ends [up] on her derriere in a mud puddle, and supposedly lifts her eyes to heaven and says, ‘If this is how you treat your friends, it’s no wonder there are so few of us.’

“I believe the Lord Jesus could see the humorous side of human personality. If you look at the people he called—the disciples—he did have a sense of humor.” †

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